How do you figure out you’re weird?

I’m really not sure when I figured it out.  I was happy as I could be in my world of discount store tennis shoes, the outfits Mom made, and getting to wear my super long hair in the same ponytails or braids for a week at a time.  I grew up in the country and farm animals were my best friends.  I’d bring plants I dug up in my yard to “show & tell”. I would tell stories about my friend from another town – but the other town was actually Imaginationville.  I peed my pants in class in 3rd grade.

 One day in probably 5thgrade, I figured out all the popular girls wouldn’t ask me to play kickball.  And really, I only had a couple of friends I played with.  But I kept on being my weird, awkward self. With my head down, I marched on. 

But in 6thgrade the realization was painful.  “They” were really all talking about me.  And “they” were really mean as all girls can be.  I cried.  Teachers tried to put us all together to work it out.  Whatever.  There were no pep talks from Mom about how great it was to just be you, an individual.   I deserved to be excluded.  I was weird and I would never fit in with them. 

The Bully Club.

Many of us are card-carrying members.  We wear the scars for many years after of being bullied and beat up on emotionally. 

I didn’t find the confidence in the years after I figured out I was weird.  I didn’t learn to march to my own beat, be individual, and MOST IMPORTANT, to quit beating myself up trying to conform.  Because, really, that was the whole deal.  I was much harder on myself than anyone else could have been. 

40 years later, I finally know I peed my pants in class because I was so painfully shy.  I didn’t want to interrupt my teacher and draw attention to myself.  But it took years of looking back at myself and how others reacted to my weirdness to realize a lot of things like this.

Raise your hands girls! You might fit better in the bully club.

Jenn Reeves